Marie Dahlstrom's music is a constant part of our r&b and soul playlists and she's one of the voices I don't think I can ever mistake.
Having quite the number of releases & features since her debut EP Feelings back in 2011, the young Danish songstress who now resides in London strikes me with being super creative, hardworking & persistent.
Her new album Like Sand drops this Friday and she was so nice to share insights on it, as well as some details on her other projects I've always been curious about.
Hey Marie, really nice to have you here! How are you, where do we find you today?
Hey! I’m good thanks. I am working from home (surprise!), haha.
Does this lockdown/quarantine situation boost your creativity?
Not really, I am used to being alone more hours during the day, so I think that if anything, this time has been more social than creative haha. But I have been mixing music and working on more administrative stuff.
Tell us a bit more about yourself. What made you move to London? How different the scene is there, in comparison to Copenhagen?
I moved to London to study music for 3 years initially and then I just ended up staying, I think the scene is pretty different in Copenhagen. I don’t feel there is a proper r&b culture in Copenhagen compared to London. But I haven’t lived in Denmark for 10 years now, so things might have changed since I moved.
Thank you so much - "Like Sand" is also one of my favourite songs. The song came about during one session in December at my house with Beau and a bass player called David. It was a very organic session that lasted all day and pretty much became the full instrumental of the track. Then the following day, I sat down and wrote and recorded the topline :)
Like Sand (out 22 May) will be your first full-length album. I've had the privilege to hear it already and I must say, it's absolutely gorgeous. What's the story it is telling and how did it all come together?
Thank you so much! Exciting that you’ve actually heard it! I remember one day I just said to myself that I wanted to do an album next. I felt I had expressed myself enough through shorter projects and it felt like the right time to start working on it. I made a rough deadline and started working towards it, without thinking too much about the overall concept or structure of the project. That helped me a lot, cause I didn’t feel much pressure when writing the songs and I didn’t spend much time evaluating them until I had enough songs, that I was happy with.
By that time, the album had almost written itself and already had some level of cohesiveness. Overall, it was a really good process. I have definitely had some album blues since I wrapped it up. I enjoyed it a lot, and I think the songs I ended up using came to life really organically in moments where I felt like writing - not because I was under pressure to write. And actually, it meant that I wasn't left with 200 unused songs after the process, which feels good. Most of the songs I wrote during that time are on there!
That's still one of my fav songs. I love working with Emmavie, I think she is so talented and has such a unique ear for production. I feel like I have developed my voice quite a lot since then - gone through ups and downs - and I think I have refined my writing. But when I listen to that song, mostly, I still hear the same essence of myself and her - maybe in more grown versions but, it's still there!
"Mood" with Secaina is definitely one of my favourites, and also quite different than the majority of your music. What's the message behind it?
With "Mood", I wanted to create a warm feel-good song, and use more percussion and conga playing in there. I wanted it to be light energy that you can dance to.
Her Songs is a very powerful project - tell us a bit more about it.
Her Songs came about during a FaceTime conversation between myself and Dani Murcia. It developed so organically, without any outside team organising things for us and has been so fun developing over the last 2 years. I am so excited for everyone to finally hear what we worked on last summer in Toronto. Volume 1 is out now, which is the first 4 songs, so definitely go check out those :)
Who else do you feel very connected to when it comes to making music?
A lot of the people who are on my album. For example Elijah Fox, I think him and I always make good songs together! The same with JNTHN STEIN, Aligo, and also producers like Conor Albert and Dandiggas who both have done a lot of work on the album. I feel I need to get along with the person behind the music to actually make good songs. It feels so nice to have actual real-life friends and colleagues on this album and not just people who some A&R set me up with.
You've been very productive in the last years. What keeps you going?
I love making music. It feels easy and purposeful and I am never bored when I create. I just think it's the nicest way to spend time.
It was such a pleasure talking to you! Anything else you'd like to share?
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me and hopefully we will chat again soon! There's more music in the pipeline :)